GKN WESTLAND intends to use a US Army McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems (MDHS) AH-64D Longbow Apache as the engine-integration test-bed for the Rolls-Royce/Turbom,ca RTM322 rather than the first UK Army Air Corps WAH-64D to be built.

The decision was one of the last substantive issues holding up the conclusion of contract negotiations between MDHS, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Westland.

A contract signature is now envisaged before the end of March, say industry sources. Following the MoD selection of the AH-64D Longbow Apache for the Army, GKN-Westland had been hoping that a contract would have been signed off by the end of 1995.

The RTM322 was selected by the MoD in preference to the General Electric T700.

The decision to use a US Army AH-64D will ease pressures on the project time-scale.

Source: Flight International